Family Histories of Van Zandt County
These Family Histories have been submitted by descendants of early settlers of Van Zandt County. If you would like to submit your family history, it would be welcomed and greatly appreciated. It can be in any form such as a genealogy report or a narative or a time line. Just email to Sibyl and it will be posted on this site.
Sewel W. Steele Family History submitted by Roy Reynolds
Sewel W. Steele was born April 14, 1834 in Laray, Jefferson Co., NY, the oldest of six children to Elisha Steele Jr. and Eunice Barrett. He apparently left home before 1850 since he was not shown on the census. He served during the Civil War with the 5th MS Infantry, Co. B, as Lt. He enlisted in 1861 and served until the end of the war. He was wounded in battle. He married Sinia Elizabeth Stovall on December 31, 1865. She was born 29 Apr 1836, died 26 Sep 1919. The family left Mississippi and arrived in Texas and Van Zandt County around 1869/70. He was a school teacher. He died 09 Jul 1876. They were both buried at Edom Cemetery.
Steele was a school teacher and enlisted in Co B of the 5th Mississippi Infantry in 1861 from Neshoba Co, MS. Lt. Steele introduced himself to Sinia Elizabeth Stovall in a letter written in Sept 1861 from Marion, MS. to "Lizzie" in Coffedelphia, Neshoba Co, Ms.
A series of letters to Lizzie traced the tour of Steele from Marion Station to Bridgeport, Al, Chattanooga, TN, Dalton, GA, Marietta,GA, Atlanta,GA, Macon,GA, and Tuscumbia,AL until the end of the war in1864. In his letter from Bridgeport he congratulated Lizzie for becoming a pedagogue (teacher). His letter from Atlanta was very descriptive of the Battle of Atlanta against Sherman. He was injured in the battle as well as several other men from Neshoba County.
On Steele's return from the war he and Lizzie were married on December 31, 1865. Two daughters were born in Neshoba county. Lula Belle on Sept. 28, 1866 and Mattie Williams Steele (my grandmother) on Nov.27,1867.
Steele and family left Mississippi 12/3/1869 and arrived in Navarro county 12/26/1869 and Van Zandt county 1/2/1870.
Lula Belle married W D Hardegree and raised a family of nine children in Van Zandt county.
Mattie married J A Reynolds and had a son and daughter . They moved to Tuscola, Taylor County, Tx about 1910.
Sewel Steele died in 1876 and Lizzie in 1919. Although Lt. Steele is not listed on the Civil War Veterans memorial at the Edom Cemetery, he and Lizzie are buried in the old section Row 8 about 20 feet west of a large tree.
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This page last updated 12 March 2009